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This week is Silver Surfer Week, the centrepiece of Age Concern's efforts to get more older people online. Workshops and taster sessions are being held across the country to show Britain's ever-expanding grey army the power of the internet.

Age Concern director general Gordon Lishman said: "We will be able to offer older people across the UK the chance to experience the internet, many for the first time. Accessing services and doing your shopping online can be a real lifeline for some."

The programme is backed by BT, Microsoft, AOL and Intel, along with regulator Ofcom and government training organ LearnDirect.

An Ofcom survey last year found older people, particularly those on lower incomes, can feel alienated from the digital economy. It failed to spot an alternative global trend of pensioners being too busy designing porn carrying coffins, dressing up as fat old boilers, starring in grumble flicks and participating in reenactments of David Cronenberg's Crash to give a fig, two hoots, or even a packet of powdered egg about the internet.®

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